Former president of zimbabwe mugabe is assured that his safety and that of his wife, Grace, will be protected in his home country
Military authorities in Zimbabwe have agreed to grant the former president Robert Mugabe immunity from prosecution and a “generous pension” and have told him his safety will be protected in his home country.
Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 37 years, resigned on Tuesday, hours after parliament launched proceedings to impeach him. He had refused to leave office during eight days of uncertainty that began with a military takeover.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice-president sacked by Mugabe this month, is to be sworn in as president on Friday.
Mugabe held out for protection of businesses belonging to his family as he negotiated a deal that would allow him to live in Zimbabwe after his resignation.
Sources close to the negotiations said the 93-year-old refused to leave Zimbabwe, saying he wanted to die there, and rejected safe passage to exile in Singapore and Malaysia, where he has been receiving medical treatment and is believed to have several properties.
“Much of the deal is around the family, his wife and kids so that they are not touched,” said one source.
It is thought the immunity deal covers Mugabe’s numerous extended family, including his stepson and nephews, and may also include senior ruling party officials detained by the military or in hiding overseas.
There is still much residual respect for Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and many in Harare say he should be allowed to “rest” rather than face charges or enforced exile. However, his wife, Grace, 52, and the ministers who supported her bid for power are reviled by many.
The military gave safe passage this week to Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere, leaders of the G40 faction loyal to the former first lady, officials said. Both had sought refuge in Mugabe’s residence during the takeover and were held under house arrest there by the military during the eight-day crisis.
“The delays in [Mugabe] resigning were because of the tally of all his investments, the negotiations took much longer because of the investments, so the delay was because of the vast empire which he has that had to be accounted for,” said the source.
The former president is expected to receive a pension from the state after “serving for [so long]”, which would be “quite generous”.
“He insisted that he was being asked to step down when he was going to win an election next year. So he was also refusing, wanting to stand in polls next year,” the source said.
A government source confirmed to Reuters that Mugabe had told negotiators “it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country … although that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to”.
A second source, who was not authorised to speak on the details of the negotiated settlement, said: “The outgoing president is obviously aware of the public hostility to his wife [Grace], the anger in some circles about the manner in which she conducted herself and approached Zanu-PF party politics.
“In that regard, it became necessary to also assure him that his whole family, including the wife, would be safe and secure. It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it.”
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